Hip hop figure Keith Grayson, famously known as DJ Kay Slay, died Sunday evening after battling COVID-19 for four months, according to his family and radio station Hot 97.
Known as the “Drama King,” Grayson grew up in Harlem and progressed in his career by refereeing the biggest MC battles on his Streetsweeper mixtapes, according to Hot 97’s website. He hosted “The Drama Hour” on Hot 97 for more than 20 years.
“A cultural icon, Kay Slay was more than just a DJ, to us he was family and a vital part of what made Hot 97 the successful station it is today,” a spokesperson from Hot 97 said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fans worldwide and we will always and forever celebrate The Drama King’s legacy.”
Grayson released his first two albums, Street Sweepers Volumes 1 & 2, through Columbia/Sony Records. Throughout his career, he worked in talent scouting for prominent figures like Shaquille O’Neal and Ray J, receiving recognition from other big-name hip hop DJs for signing talented artists and winning several “Justo’s Mixtape Awards,” according to Hot 97’s website.
“A dominant figure in Hip Hop culture with millions of fans worldwide, DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations,” his family said in a statement.
Grayson was the CEO of “Straight Stuntin’ Magazine,” a quarterly publication that features interviews with top hip hop artists and models. He recently connected two NYC rivals on his hit single, “Free Again”, featuring Fat Joe and 50 Cent, according to Hot 97’s website.